Mumbai, Jun 11 (PTI) Malaysian airlines group AirAsia's logistics subsidiary Teleport on Friday said it has strengthened its key routes with a dedicated 737-800 freighter and two A320 converted passenger aircraft. The freighter will begin operations across Asia from the third quarter of 2021 and will operate out of the Teleport hub in Bangkok, it said in a release.
The additional capacity will strengthen its route network between China, India and Southeast Asia and offer improved connectivity to and from Teleport's long-haul markets, the company said.
In May, AirAsia operated six A330 and two A320 on behalf of Teleport and plans to increase it within the year, it said, adding, “with the leasing of the freighter and the conversion of planes, Teleport will be even more capable and reliable in delivering more cargo and enforces Teleport's coverage across Asia.” Adrian Loretz, Chief Operating Officer of Teleport said, “we are excited to share this expansion as we strengthen our logistics footprint across Asia. It was evident at the end of last year that the demand for cargo capacity was not going to be served with passenger belly capacity alone in the long run. So, we evaluated the option to utilise dedicated freighters to transport cargo.” This is also part of Teleport's strategy to build the capacity and connectivity to offer 24 hours door-to-door delivery across all of Southeast Asia, he said.
“The type of planes we are using are great to handle the current surge in demand for e-commerce and other cargo, and we want to build our network with this dedicated cargo capacity. We are here for the long run and are ready to do more with freighters and converted planes,” Loretz added.
The two A320 planes with seats removed will be based in Malaysia and Thailand. From the two strategic hubs in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, they will continue their schedule to key cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Yangon, it stated.
The conversion of the A320 plane in Malaysia was performed by Asia Digital Engineering (ADE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AirAsia Group Berhad, and by Thai AirAsia for the A320 plane based in Thailand.
Since 2020, Teleport has built a cargo-only network across key air cargo lanes in the region to cater to the increasing e-commerce and overall cargo demand, the company said in the release. PTI IAS ANU ANU